'What a disappointment': 7 reactions to Ramaphosa’s address on looting and unrest
Many on social media have dubbed President Cyril Ramaphosa's address on Monday night a miss, saying he did not show strong leadership qualities.
Ramaphosa delivered his second address in two days, in the wake of ongoing looting in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.
The violence broke out in Gauteng at the weekend after days of protests in KwaZulu-Natal linked to the incarceration of former president Jacob Zuma.
In his address, Ramaphosa pledged to restore calm across the country and authorised the deployment of the SA Defence Force (SANDF) to help the SA Police Service.
He said the violence had its roots in the pronouncements and activities of individuals with a political purpose, and expressions of frustration and anger.
“At the beginning of this unrest, there may have been some people who sought to agitate for violence and disorder along ethnic lines. We know that the majority of our people have out of principle refused to be mobilised along these lines,” said Ramaphosa.
“However, what we are witnessing now are opportunistic acts of criminality, with groups of people instigating chaos merely as a cover for looting and theft.”
President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation on July 12 2021, after violent looting and riots across the country.
Ramaphosa said the death toll from recent days of civil unrest had risen to at least 10.
“At this hour, there are several families in our country that are in mourning. I speak of the families of Nkosikhona Chiza, Ndumiso Shezi, Khaya Mkhize, Zethembe Ndwandwe, Lindani Bhengu and Lindokuhle Gumede in Gauteng.
“I speak of the families of Bhekani Ndlovu, Themba Mthembu, Aphiwe Gama and Cebo Dlamini in KwaZulu-Natal,” he said.
He said there was no grievance, nor political cause, that could justify the violence and destruction that has been happening in the two provinces.
He said the SANDF and SAPS will prioritise the prosecution of suspects alleged to be involved in this violence.
“We will not hesitate to arrest and prosecute those who perpetrate these actions and will ensure that they face the full might of our law. We will restore calm and order so that we can get on with the task of rebuilding this country and creating a better life for its people,” Ramaphosa said.
On social media, many weighed in on the address.
'He failed to address the structural socio-economic constraints'
What President Ramaphosa failed to do is address the structural socio-economic constraints that have precipitated some of the issues protesters have raised.— Social Delinquent (@LwaziSomya) July 12, 2021
Without addressing those, the economic issues shall remain the same.
'Very little in his address offered anything new or significant'
The President’s solemn words of condemnation in his televised address last night, along with his promises that those breaking the law will face consequences, are not enough. He needs to back these words up with decisive action, and he needs to do so today still. -@jsteenhuisen— Democratic Alliance (@Our_DA) July 12, 2021
'That weak speech has done nothing to inspire confidence'
What a dissapointment.@CyrilRamaphosa, you are not a passive observer. You are the President!— Herman Mashaba (@HermanMashaba) July 12, 2021
People have lost businesses, jobs, lives, & the reputation of SA is disintegrating.
That weak speech has done nothing to inspire confidence & allay the fears of law-abiding citizens.
“Ramaphosa looked battle weary throughout his address'
However hard he tried to rouse the nation, invoking past collective triumphs over adversity and appealing to that 'special' South Africanness, Ramaphosa looked battle weary throughout his address.— Lashias Ncube (@lashiasn) July 12, 2021
No doubt he's facing the sternest test of his Presidency to date.
'What we needed was political accountability and leadership'
'A real President speaks to his people'
A real President speaks to his people, capture their imagination and give them a soul attachment kind of a communication. Not this thing of Ramaphosa coming to talk like Siri and then dissappear— Malema cleo (@latimalema) July 12, 2021
'Let us not beat about the bush'
Let us not beat about the bush: Those who say Ramaphosa failed to lead it’s because according to them he didn’t address the elephant in the room which is the pardoning or release of Jacob Zuma.— John Baloyi (@Dijosti) July 12, 2021
Watch other latest videos of the violence and looting below: